Catherynne M. Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a wonderful, magical fairy-tale fantasy that is aimed at children but doesn't talk down to them—and is written in a way that will appeal to adults, too. It's a fantasy in the same vein as Alice in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth, and L. Frank Baum's Oz books. In The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, 12-year-old September is whisked away from her home in Omaha, Nebraska by the Green Wind and taken to Fairyland on his steed, the Leopard of Little Breezes. September has a wondrous, mysterious, surreal adventure in Fairyland, befriending a wyvern (that is half-library) and a sad, lonely Marid named Saturday. She fights the Marquess, the ruler of Fairyland, and goes on a long quest that reveals more about herself and Fairyland than she ever suspected. Every page of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland pops with poetic description, amazing imagery, and sly humor. Valente doesn't sugar-coat her fairy tale, but she also doesn't let it descend into excessive darkness. This is a truly great, fast-paced, fun and funny fantasy for all ages.
Apr 2, 2013